Court toughens Kamm's house arrest terms

Lawyer for espionage suspect says reporter to return IDF docs soon.

By DAN IZENBERG
April 14, 2010 14:12
4 minute read.
'Ha'aretz' reporter Uri Blau.

uri blau 311. (photo credit: Channel 2)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Anat Kamm, the former soldier who illegally copied 2,000 military documents, will remain under full, 24-hour house arrest and will have to be supervised by her parents, sister, or aunt throughout the day and night.

According to the conditions determined by the court, Kamm will also have to report to the police station nearest to her home in Tel Aviv each Tuesday at 1 p.m.

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The ruling came in response to appeals by the state and Kamm’s attorneys against a lower court decision handed down by Tel Aviv District Court Judge Zeev Hammer, who also ordered her to remain under full house arrest but did not detail the terms of her supervision or order her to present herself to the police.

The state had asked the Supreme Court to order Kamm to be remanded in custody until the end of the legal proceedings, while she asked that she be released from house arrest altogether.

During the hearings, the court asked the probation service to examine Kamm to determine whether she posed a danger if she was not incarcerated and what arrangements short of jail would be suitable for her.

“The assessment focused on a description of the special problems and complexities in [Kamm’s] personality,” Justice Ayala Procaccia wrote. “In that context, it stated that [Kamm] has various emotional difficulties which could lead her to act in a self-destructive way by violating the terms of the alternative-to-jail solution.”

At the same time, the examiners felt that Kamm had learned that she must obey the law and that she understood what would happen to her if she didn’t.

In asking the court to jail Kamm, the state wrote that not doing so posed a serious danger. “The concern has to do with obstructing judicial procedures, influencing witnesses, and the danger that she might flee because of the severe punishment awaiting her if she is convicted.”

The state also wrote that “the fact that [Kamm] has an interest in disseminating the information abroad out of a desire to condemn Israel in international forums in a way that could endanger its security increases the concern about her.”

Kamm and her attorney, Eitan Lehman, argued that she no longer posed a threat, that she had cooperated fully with her interrogators and returned all the material in her possession, and that the evidence proved that it had not been her intention to harm state security.

Kamm asked the court “to revoke the house arrest and to suffice with the steep financial guarantees imposed on her and her family, which themselves constitute an important, effective element in achieving the aims of the remand,” Procaccia wrote in the ruling.

In her decision to stiffen the terms of Kamm’s house arrest, Procaccia said, “The nature of the crimes attributed to [Kamm] according to the evidence and her behavior raise doubts about the degree of confidence we can have in her ability to act reasonably in the future. We cannot be certain that she will not make additional wrongful use of the classified material which has not yet been recovered by the investigators. There is no certainty that she will not violate the terms of her remand-alternative based on one excuse or another. The parole service appraisal emphasized Kamm’s problematic personality characteristics.”

In other developments, Uri Blau’s lawyer, Mibi Mozer, told The Jerusalem Post that Blau would return the documents he received from Kamm in a few days, after Kamm signed a letter stating that she had waived the protection he provided her by his professional immunity which allowed him not to reveal his sources.

Mozer said he would be flying to London in the next few days to meet with Blau.

However, the attorney added that Blau himself will not be returning to Israel in the foreseeable future because of other demands made by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) in previous negotiations with the Haaretz reporter.

According to the ISA and the ministry of justice, Blau lied to the Shin Bet when it questioned him about reports he had written in the newspaper based on the documents he had received from Kamm, many of which were apparently classified as secret or top secret. Blau agreed to return all the documents, but allegedly returned only a fraction of them.

During the first meetings between Blau and the Shin Bet, the reporter allegedly returned 50 documents and told them that was all he had. Later on, when the Shin Bet tracked down and interrogated Kamm, she told them she had given Blau hundreds of documents.

Once again, the Shin Bet tried to negotiate with Blau for the return of the rest of the documents. By that time, Blau was no longer in Israel. The justice ministry reported that the negotiations collapsed on April 6, but did not elaborate on the nature of the negotiations.

Now, Mozer has revealed that the Shin Bet demanded that Blau hand over all of the archives he had collected since he became a journalist. Mozer said it was clear the army wanted to discover all the other sources that had been providing him with material over the years.

Haaretz added that the state also demanded to interrogate Blau and put him on trial for being in possession of stolen information.


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